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Windows Vista facts for kids

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Windows Vista
Part of the Microsoft Windows family
Picture of Windows Vista Ultimate
Microsoft Corporation
Initial release January 30, 2007; 13 years ago (2007-01-30) [info]
Stable release 6.0 (Build 6002: Service Pack 2) (April 28, 2009; 11 years ago (2009-04-28)) [info]
Source model Closed source / Shared source
License Proprietary commercial software
Kernel type Hybrid
Update method Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services, SCCM
Platform support IA-32 and x86-64
Preceded by Windows XP
Succeeded by Windows 7
Support status

Mainstream support: Ended on April 10, 2012.

Extended support: Until April 11, 2017.
Further reading
  • Development of Windows Vista
  • Features new to Windows Vista
  • Management features new to Windows Vista
  • Security and safety features new to Windows Vista
  • Technical features new to Windows Vista
  • Windows Vista I/O technologies
  • Windows Vista networking technologies
  • Features removed from Windows Vista
  • Windows Vista editions

Windows Vista is the 6th version of the Microsoft Windows operating system from Microsoft. While it was being made, it was called Longhorn. On July 28, 2005, Microsoft gave out its real name, Windows Vista.

Microsoft had worked on Vista for more than five years, so it came with many new features, such as improved graphics, new built-in programs, and stronger defenses against computer viruses. However, Vista introduced many changes to the way the operating system worked, which caused some older programs to stop working.

Vista editions and system requirements

Vista was released in November 2006 for system builders and January 30, 2007 for home users. The four main editions of Windows Vista are:

  • Home Basic Edition
  • Home Premium Edition
  • Business Edition
  • Ultimate Edition.

There are 2 special versions called Home Starter Edition, and Enterprise Edition. Home Starter is basically the same as XP Starter, and is for low budget countries. Vista needs at least 512 MB of RAM to run on all computers. Some new parts of Vista need 1 GB of RAM to work. Unofficially, it can run with 256 MB, but the performance will be poor.

Windows Vista system requirements
Vista Capable Vista Premium Ready
Processor 800 MHz 1 GHz
Memory 512 MB 1 GB
Graphics card DirectX 9.0 capable DirectX 9.0 capable and WDDM 1.0 driver support
Graphics memory 64 MB 128 MB
HDD capacity 40 GB 80 GB
HDD free space 15 GB
Optical drives DVD-ROM drive (Only to install from DVD-ROM media)

For stability and performance, more than 1 Gigabyte of main memory (RAM) is always helpful with a large operating system such as this.

Service Packs

Microsoft releases service packs to update software and fix problems.

Service Pack 1

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released on February 4, 2008 alongside Windows Server 2008 to OEM partners, after a five-month beta test period. The first use of the service pack caused a number of machines to continually reboot, rendering the machines unusable. This caused Microsoft to temporarily suspend automatic deployment of the service pack until the problem was resolved. The same release date of the two operating systems showed the merging of the workstation and server kernels back into a single code base for the first time since Windows 2000. MSDN subscribers were able to download SP1 on February 15, 2008. SP1 became available to current Windows Vista users on Windows Update and the Download Center on March 18, 2008. Initially, the service pack only supported 5 languages - English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese. Support for the remaining 31 languages was released on April 14, 2008.

Service Pack 2

Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista was released to manufacturing on April 28, 2009, and released to Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update on May 26, 2009. In addition to a number of security and other fixes, a number of new features have been added. However, it did not include Internet Explorer 8.


Reviews and screenshots

Preceded by
Windows XP
Windows Versions
Succeeded by
Windows 7

Images for kids

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